The Edgar Award Nominations Open Thread

It figures that the MWA would announce the nominees for the Edgar awards as I was on a bus out of town, where internet is sporadic and nature is in rather close proximity. So look for the nominee list here and before I sign off and open up the backblog to comments (and I expect there will be comments) here’s my take.

Best Novel seems a rather beautifully fucked up list. Or perhaps as wide a cross section of the spectrum between literary and mystery. Yeah, let’s go for that. There’s John Banville and Michael Chabon on one side, Ken Bruen and Reed Coleman on the other and John Hart smack in the middle. And before the argument about the lack of women on the list, as there inevitably will be, can we chalk it up to the luck of the draw?

Best First Novel has its quirks as well. I’m glad I managed to sneak in a read of Tana French’s IN THE WOODS, which certainly deserves to be there (and bulks up the Irish crime quotient. Someone gather everyone at Murder Ink in Dublin or No Alibis in Belfast!) Again, there’s a literary feel to this group of five, not just with French but also Goffard, Nikitas and in terms of structure and narrative arc, Craig McDonald. Campbell’s legal thriller may be the most “traditional” of the lot but even it isn’t quite that. A surprising, but also encouraging list.

Best Paperback Original is a ridiculously strong list. And will this finally bring Kevin Wignall to America? I sure as hell hope so. (Also, I thought Russell Hill was a debut novelist, but I guess not…)

Best Short Story not only includes a debut writer but the Robert L. Fish winner, too. Wow. Yay for A HELL OF A WOMAN and for Daniel Woodrell, who I hope will show up as well. Those who question why Laura Lippman was left off the Best Novel list should cheer at her short story nomination. And once again, small press anthologies do incredibly well at the Edgars.

I think it’s a good bet that Barbara Seranella will win the Mary Higgins Clark Award on the sentimental vote, but I hope that’s not the only reason it got picked for the list.

So if I have to boil this list down to a few words I’ll go with: Literary. Irish. Small Press (especially Bleak House.) Strange and weird but wonderful dynamics.